How Do You Thaw Frozen Mice For Snakes?

Do you want to make sure your snakes are getting the best possible nutrition?

Are you a new snake owner and feeling a little lost when it comes to feeding time?

There are so many questions when it comes to feeding snakes.  

If you have decided on giving frozen mice to your snake, one big question you might have is:

How do you thaw frozen mice for snakes?

Mice must be thawed before being fed to the snake. To do so, thaw in a bag in the refrigerator. For quicker thawing, float the bag in cold water. Then use warm/hot water to warm up the rodents for feeding after being thawed.

Knowing how to prepare frozen mice for your snake to eat properly is essential in giving your pet the best care.

Read on for more detailed information on how to thaw frozen mice for your snake.

how do you thaw frozen mice for snakes

How Do You Thaw Frozen Mice For Snakes?

When you first bring a snake into your home, there are so many questions you are going to have, and many of them will focus on feeding your snake.

Frozen mice are a great option for feeding your snakes, but don’t just throw a frozen mouse into the cage.

You first have to thaw the mouse.

Snakes are cold-blooded, and taking in and digesting something cold will slow down their bodies.

The animal won’t digest it well, and the snake will have a lot of issues. 

There are two methods for starting the thawing process, and time is going to be the determining factor for you as you decide which one to use.

The first option involves a longer thawing time, as you place the mouse in a bag and set it in the refrigerator to slowly thaw. 

With this method, leave the mouse in the fridge overnight, and by morning it will have thawed.

Mice are smaller, so they may thaw in a few hours, but overnight will ensure it’s ready.

The other method has a faster warm up time, so if you need it sooner, this additional option speeds up the process. 

With the mouse or mice in a baggy, place them in a bowl and pour cold water over the rodent. 

Leave the bowl on the counter and check it after 30 minutes.

Depending on the size, it may be ready, but if not, replace the water with fresh and wait another 30 minutes.

Do not use hot water in this process as it often makes the rodents spoil.

After the mice thaw, you still aren’t quite ready to feed them to your snake. 

Use hot, but not boiling, water to warm up the cold mouse.

Let the mouse, still in the baggie, warm up for about 10 minutes. 

As soon as you have completed this process, feed it to the snake, as the mouse will start to decay quickly if you wait too long.  

Tips For Frozen Mice

As you go to feed your snake and defrost a feeder mouse, there are a few extra tips you should keep in mind. 

If you notice the mouse smells bad once you thaw it, do not feed it to your snake.

It is better to throw it out than risk giving your snake bad food, as they are susceptible to getting sick from their food. 

Feeders should not be left in the freezer for more than six months.

Don’t give these to your snake if they are older than six months. 

Again, you run the risk of making your snake sick with inferior food.

You will also need to make sure you are selecting the right sized food.

Baby snakes will need smaller newborn mice, where adult snakes can consume jumbo mice.

Mice are sold by size when buying them, so make sure you pick the right size.

Too small and the snake will still be hungry, and if the mouse is too large, you run the risk of your snake choking or regurgitating the meal. 

As another rule, never microwave your frozen rodents.

The mice will likely explode.

Another reason is the uneven cooking of a microwave.

The frozen mice might have some areas too hot for the snake, and the mouse’s center will likely remain too cold. 

Frozen Vs. Live Mice

You might be wondering if live mice are better for feeding than frozen.

I mean, if snakes in the wild have lived so long on them, why shouldn’t a pet snake?

Even though your pet snake does have the instinct to deal with live animals, most are willing to accept a thawed frozen mouse. 

There are many benefits to giving frozen mice as opposed to a live version.

The most significant benefit is they are safer for your pet.

A live mouse is quite literally fighting for their life and will do whatever they can to stay out of the reaches of your snake.

This means biting, clawing, and scratching at every opportunity.

These wounds open your animal to disease and other health issues, not to mention they might require expensive and prolonged care from a veterinarian. 

Some might also find it inhumane to watch the prey suffer as it fights to stay alive.

Frozen mice are humanely euthanized, and you will avoid your snake getting battle wounds. 

Live mice also require space and are costly to maintain.

Proper care and space are required so they will be safe and healthy for your snake to eat. 

If you don’t feel you would have the time to devote to maintaining live mice, it is probably best to think about frozen mice. 

Frozen mice are easily stored, easy to purchase, and don’t require care until you go to thaw them. 


We hope this article has taken some of the guesswork out of thawing frozen mice for snakes. 

Feeding your snake frozen mice is an ideal route to take, but it does come with a little work.

The process isn’t a difficult one, but it does require some time to make sure the mouse is thawed correctly and the right temperature for your pet.


Ask a Veterinarian Today

Chat with an on-call Veterinarian in minutes! 24/7 Unlimited Chats.